We were planning to go away for the weekend to the inlaws’ cottage, but Andrea and Jacob were not feeling that great, and we postponed the trip. But we had planned originally to take the Monday off as well and make it a long weekend. With the decision to stay home, I left the holiday in the pipeline and took it off anyway, as did Andrea.
I’d love to say we had a fun-filled staycation day that rejuvenated us from top to bottom. Instead, we did do some small fun things like lunch out and a few games this afternoon, plus watching American Ninja Warrior’s All-Star show tonight.
But mostly, I just kept slogging on my home reorg. I’m in a strange phase at the moment in that I have a functional basement, more or less, and most of the things that I am sorting are in their assigned piles. Except that not everything that needs to be sorted is in the main part of the basement. To put it simply, I’ve sorted what is already here, I haven’t tackled the full back part of the basement yet.
So yesterday with Andrea’s help, and today through some stubborness, I plowed through the rest of the bins and boxes so I could truly see what I am facing. Fortunately, some of it went extremely quickly, and I was pleasantly surprised that three bins that I thought had a bunch of loose electrical stuff in it is actually not that at all, more old VHS tapes that are easily disposed of at some point, and I’m golden. I’m also really happy because some shelves that I needed to get to in order to really see what is there are now uncovered, some key dominoes haven fallen, and what’s left is also not that bad. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a ton of weeding to do. But the unknown is much closer to the known now.
Tonight, I took a small break from the family and took a short drive down to one of the park areas a few blocks south. I have been trying out some new astro planning software and one of the pieces of software is designed to help you plan different photography shots by telling you where exactly on the horizon the sun or moon (or planets, or constellations, etc.) is going to “rise”. I’m not talking about the Sun rising in the East, I’m talking about will it be directly behind THAT tree or about 2 degrees over and blocked by that house or 5 degrees the other way and coming up in open horizon.
If you know an area well, and have been out recently for sunrise, you probably know exactly where it will be on the horizon; if not, you’re more in the “general” direction phase. Which is not really that helpful if, for example, you want to see the sun rising behind a tree and find out that the angle is wrong and you should be 45 feet to your right to frame it properly. You can change on the fly, of course, but there are apps and websites that will tell you EXACTLY where it will cross the horizon.
Tonight, the moon is almost full (98%), and I wanted to test the app. So at 7:30 p.m., well 7:29 to be precise, I was perched with a south-easterly view to see the moon come up above some trees. I had planned to use a specific location earlier, but when I happened to drive by around 3:00, I realized that the angle was going to have way more trees than I expected (the park has more growth than I remember!). So I went to location B in my planning, which I didn’t go back and replan, just did a parallel thing. I used a free version of another app, and when the moon came up, it was about 5 degrees off. Still good, I was close, but if I was looking to frame a specific view, that 5 degrees could have meant moving 100 feet or so to the right really quickly with the tripod and reframing a shot.
The more expensive apps will do a better alignment job, offer you a virtual overlay for your camera view to show you where the moon would rise (it was off as I said), or even simulate what the light will look like at a certain time of day for you to plan ahead. I took some quick shots, no tripod, but I didn’t feel like I was getting anything “good”. Might have to do it with my DSLR. But, it was just a test. I have a specific target in mind, and I’ll aim for it next full moon. But I at least gave it a partial test tonight.
The downside to all this is that I don’t really feel like I had a “vacation” which I would have had at the cottage. I just kept slogging away. Progress or no, it’s still tiring. I am hoping to crash early tonight. Or at least early for me.
Today I choose to take a day off work.
What choices are you making today?